Because the Spear Hero is a dude with a spear and blue hair, I keep imagining bad things happening to him.
Chapter 14 – Puzzle Hell
I wasn’t employed in my old world so I can only guess, but I wonder if the enquiry divisions of call centres were battlefields of neverending calls.
“No, the correct answer for that question is left!”
“Like I fucken know! How bout you think for yourself a little!”
“AHH!? Why did you go left! Eh? I told you to go left, you say? …Well, there are times like that too.”
“Tsk, aight, aight. I’ll have a look so wait a bit!”
While giving a side glance at Sophia and Anbaal who were being bombarded by questions, I sipped my tea.
“You two sure are busy, aren’t you.”
“──This is your fault, isn’t itt!?”
“──Ain’t this your faultt!?”
They got angry.
The floor that the mixed party was currently tackling was the floor that Leonora struggled with as well; the 11th floor Quiz Floor. It’s a simple floor where you’re given 10 questions with 3 choices each, and the answers give you the right path to take, but if you make even a single mistake you’ll be sent back to the beginning. Because of that, you need to get all 10 questions right.
Ever since they broke into the 11th floors, they’ve been asking Sophia and Anbaal questions without end, and their angry yells have been flying about the room.
But well, it’s not like I don’t understand. After all, the Hero side had completely left out anybody who specialised in knowledge, and was a line-up filled with battle specialists. As for the Demon King faction, Renarve was a combat type, and you could say that Vikuto was the only one who was really good at thinking problems. I’m not quite sure about Ojisama, but at the very least, he didn’t seem to be doing too well with the quizzes.
This party is overwhelmingly lacking in brain power.
“Has my choice to choose all battle specialists ended up in vain?”
“Those guys are basically all meatheads after all.”
What’s more, they weren’t joining their forces at all, and the Hero side and Demon King side were tackling their own quizzes. So the discord between them really is huge, huh.
However, perhaps because their gods gave them strict orders to cooperate, they did seem to at least try and head in the same direction. There was a tacit agreement that when one side solved a question, the other side would follow them, and they progressed this way while competing against each other as well.
『Fumu, the answer to this question is this way, I believe.』
『Tsk, like we’ll lose!』
『Wai-, Lionel-san!? That way is wrong isn’- …AHH!?』
『…Starting from the beginning again, huh?』
『Bastards, one of you restrain that fool!』
『Uh, umm… Sorry.』
Oh? They look like they’re getting along unexpectedly well.
Compared to the Quiz Floor where they got the wrong answer again and again and were sent back to the end each time, with the Moving Floor, as long as you could see the place from above it was a lot easier, so with the advice of the Light God and the Dark God, they progressed without too much difficulty.
…Right, they progressed without too much difficulty. They.
Behind the scenes of the smoothly progressing mixed party was the tear-inducing efforts of Sophia and Anbaal.
“R, R, D, D, U, D, R, D, U.”
“D, L, L, D, U, R, D, D, U.”
“D, R, D, D, U, L, D, R, U.”
“R, U, D, D, R, U, R, R, D.”
“D, L, L, R, U, D, D, L, L.”
“R, R, R, R, U, D, R, R, D… So the bottommost one is the exit, huh.”
“Yes. With this, the entire room has been mapped.”
Sophia and Anbaal – drawing a rough sketch of the dungeon’s large room, and mapping the room’s arrows one by one. With the map they drew in the middle, the two of them glared at it from either side, and began wracking their brains.
“So ya get on here, and it sends ya right, then down… No good, just goes right back.”
“In that case, if you start from here… So this one was a failure as well.”
“Seriously such a bother. Cantcha just jump over it?”
“If they could do so, then they would have done so long ago.”
While following along the arrows on their map, Sophia and Anbaal were discussing the right path, but they weren’t making much progress.
“Damn, that looks tough. Want some tea?”
“──Like I said, isn’t this your faultt!? And yes please.”
“──Like I said, ain’t this your faultt!? Thanks, gimme some.”
Seeing the two angry gods ask for tea anyway, I made them some. Since they were tackling a problem that was using their brains, I decided that sugar was important at times like these, so I gave them a little more than usual. But well, it’s a question to begin with whether or not divines even need sugar.
“Thank you very much.”
They each gave their reply as I passed them their cups, and then they turned back to the maps before taking a sip.
In the next instant, they spat out the tea in their mouths. Gross.
“S-, So damn sweet…!?”
“You, just how much sugar did you place in our tea!?”
I used about half of the sugar jar for their two cups.
“More importantly, is your map okay?”
“Eh? AAAHH!? The map that we spent so long to make…”
“Tsk, hurry up and wipe it dry!”
Sophia and Anbaal frantically wiped the map that was wet with the tea from their mouths, but the arrows were blurred, and it didn’t seem usable any more.
“Uuu, will we need to draw it all again?”
“Sif I’m gunna… Oi, this is half your fault, so help us out.”
“…Can’t be helped.”
I was wondering why on earth I needed to give advice on how to conquer the dungeon I made myself, but this time really was partially my fault, so I decided to help with just the map drawing.
“Or rather, if you just gave us the damn answer, we wouldn’t even need to do this.”
“No way. I don’t remember it.
On the floor where you needed to get on a mine cart to reach the door, or the floor where you needed to turn the right switches to open the door, thanks to the Light God and Dark God’s efforts in drawing out diagrams, the mixed party was able to advance smoothly. But on the other hand, when it came to puzzles that you couldn’t solve even if you looked at them, as you’d expect, the two gods were greatly troubled.
The 19th floor was exactly of that sort; there were two containers, and you needed to fill the water in them evenly.
Of the two containers that were 10 units of water each, one was filled to the brim while the other was completely empty. Here, you needed to use the 3 unit bucket and the 7 unit bucket, and even out the two containers to 5 units each. If you hit a switch, it would return the water to its original levels, so you could repeat it as much as you wanted.
“Um, is this fine?”
I asked Tena to prepare two sets of containers just the right size. The actual size of the containers were different to the ones on the 19th floor, but because they were scaled properly, they were plenty for solving the puzzle.
Across the monitor, the Heroes and demons were wrestling the same problem, and made mistakes when drawing water to move them and stuff.
I left the four containers in front of Sophia and Anbaal, and had Tena fill one with water.
“Why must we do something like…”
“Don’t say it. It’s damn depressing.”
Apparently having already noticed that it was the type of puzzle they were bad at, Sophia and Anbaal’s expressions were grave. However, the two of them who had begun tackling the puzzle, sighing all the while, immediately noticed something wrong and made a puzzled expression.
“This scent is…”
“Wai-, oi! Ain’t this alcohol.”
Right; Tena had filled the containers with not water, but alcohol. Noticing the smell, Sophia and Anbaal began to become oddly restless.
This world was the same in that alcohol had an inseparable relationship with religions, and wine was offered at mass. I’ve never drunk any before so I don’t know, but apparently it was common knowledge that divines liked alcohol.
That’s why I thought to test it out, but I saw that the two were obviously distracted by it and couldn’t concentrate on solving the puzzle.
Seeing them, I realised that it would be a long battle, so I decided to have a break.
“Tena, could I trouble you with some more tea?”
It wasn’t like I couldn’t steep the tea myself, but the tea she made was better tasting, so I asked her for more. Before long, I sipped the cup that she passed to me, and let out a long sigh.
“Um, Anri-sama? Why are you cooperating with the two of them? It would be better for them not to capture the dungeon, wouldn’t it?”
Perhaps so that the other two couldn’t hear, Tena asked me in a small voice.
Certainly, just considering the match, there wasn’t any reason for me to help the two of them and the mixed party; rather, you could say it would be better for me to obstruct them. I disturbed their concentration with the alcohol, but it was just a slight prank that you couldn’t really call obstructing them.
Either way, I felt that it was just a matter of time before they solved the problem anyway, but the biggest reason was that I was thinking about the future.
“It’s because having my relationship with them deepen is completely linked to our future.”
I succeeded in gaining a one year grace period, but you could also say that I only gained a year.
We concentrated our efforts on rushing to build the shops around the temple, and this country was continuing to rapidly develop. But no matter how positive we were being about it, we hadn’t reached what you would call a country. At best we had finally evolved from a village to a town. It was probable that even a year from now, we wouldn’t reach the level of a country.
In that case, if we messed things up, there was even the risk that the moment the one year was up, we would fall into the dilemma of being invaded by the other countries. In order to avoid that, there was the need to deepen our ties with the other countries to the extent that they wouldn’t invade, but the best way to do that was to have Sophia and Anbaal as the mediators.
I did already ask them to do so, but the closer our relationship began, the lower the chance of a foreign invasion. Because of that, I wanted to become as close as possible.
“Well, that’s not the only thing though.”
However, even if there wasn’t that plan, it was true that just talking to them was quite fun. In my old world, I was an only child, so if I had an older brother or sister, would it be something like this? Or so I ended up imagining.
Would it be easier to see as arrows?
You enter from the top and leave from the bottom.
There were a number of rooms like this, all connected.
By the way, since anybody could figure it out just by trying the top arrows one by one, please don’t bother with it, and since I am not really taking answers for the water container question either, please kindly refrain from writing the answers in the syosetu impressions tab.
tl: they actually said ‘right, left, up’ etc. and not ‘R, L, U’ but it looks a lot neater in kanji, whereas in English is would just be a diarrhoea of letters, so I used single letters instead.